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News: Over 236,000 Petitions Received for H1B 2017. Lottery Done !

Wow, it has been a crazy day with some surprise news from attorneys saying that they received H1B Receipt Notices for their premium processing cases. It clearly indicated that lottery was done and we were just waiting for the official press note from USCIS.  Anyways, as you know, the H1B cap for FY 2017 reached on April 7th and finally, we have an official press note from USCIS. Below is the quick summary of the details.

Summary of the USCIS Official Press Alert on H1B FY 2017 Lottery, Cap Completion

  • Total H1B Petitions in Lottery: USCIS received a staggering number of over 236,000 petitions for H1B FY 2017 Quota during the standard 5 day filing period between April 1st and April 7th, 2016.
  • Masters Quota : USCIS received more than the cap of 20,000 set aside for US Masters degree quota. We do not have any split on how many were filed under masters quota and regular quota, all we have been updated by USCIS is that the overall number is over 236,000 petitions for FY 2017 quota.
  • Lottery Process for H1B 2017 : USCIS indicated on April 9th, that they conducted computer generated random selection, popularly called as H1B lottery for the total over 236,0000 petitions received to pick the required petitions for regular cap of 65,000 and masters cap of 20,000 petitions.
    • Masters Quota Lottery : First a lottery was conducted for the US Masters degree H1B petitions to select the 20,000 petitions. The petitions that were not selected in this first round were added back to the regular quota pool of applications and lottery was conducted on the entire pool of applications to pick the required 65,000 petitions required for regular quota. This is no different from previous years and you may read H1B Lottery Process
    • Petitions Not Selected in Lottery: USCIS indicated that they will reject and return all the petitions that were not selected in the FY 2017 lottery with the filing fee, unless they identify that the petition is duplicate filing by same employer for same or related job roles to trick the system of lottery selection for better odds.
  • H1B 2017 Premium Processing Details : USCIS indicated earlier that premium processing will begin no later than May 16th, 2016. It means that, if your petition is filed under premium the clock of 15 calendar days starts from May 16th.  As we have already seen many attorneys getting receipts, they may process the petitions earlier as well, but the 15 days SLA for premium processing starts from May 16th, that’s the idea.
    • For FY 16, they said that it would be no later than May 11th ( later moved to April 27th after lottery) and for FY 15 it was April 27th. You can see that the initial forecast of the dates are further pushed for this year by 5 days…it tells us that they are anticipating more petitions. You should read H1B Visa 2017 Lottery Predictions Analysis
    • Cap Exempt H1B Petitions: The current press alert is only for FY 2017 H1B cap quota stating that it is completed. As always, all the H1B cap exempt petitions will be accepted all year long, which falls under the below categories :
      • Changes in H1B employment terms, contract
      • Previously H1B cap counted Applications
      • H1B extensions
      • H1B Transfers
      • Concurrent working second H1B petitions

Our H1B Predictions for FY 2017 – Actual Results : We have indicated in our H1B 2017 predictions article couple of things, first one is that we expect lottery and second one is that we expect about  230,000  to 250,000 petitions.   We are proud to say that both of our predictions are correct.   Firstly, USCIS had lottery for FY 2017 quota and secondly, they received about 236,000 petitions. Hope our predictions, let some of you plan ahead !

What can you expect in next few weeks or months?

All I can tell you my friends is that it is going to be a very long wait for many of the H1B Applicants, who filed petition for FY 2017 quota.  With our experience, we can tell you one thing, stay calm and continue to focus on what you are doing…you may feel the pain and anxiety, when others report that they received case number and some post indicating that they got approval… As we have an active discussion always on H1B Visa 2017 Page, I suggest you all not to hurt anyone with your comments or post rumours misleading people. Please do NOT get into fight or write hate speech ! Let’s keep the forum friendly and help one another as everyone goes through this tough waiting period.  I suggest you add your H1B case to our H1B Case Tracker and keep it up to date, so that everyone get some high level info and take necessary action as needed.

What are your thoughts on this FY 2017 Quota and Lottery ?

[content_band style=”color: #333;” bg_color=”#ffddea” border=”all” inner_container=”true”] [custom_headline style=”margin-top: 0;” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h3″]Whats after H1B Lottery ? [/custom_headline]

Various Steps, Case Status and Flow on what happens after H1B Lottery – Read Whats Next After H1B Lottery and Flow Chart


Official USCIS Tweet on this with press release


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  1. Hi Saurabh,
    My H1B was approved in 2016 lottery, but after approval and before stamping i changed the company in India, but my new company denied filling H1 transfer under cap exempt, now they are filling a fresh H1B application in 2017 again.

    How would it affect my old approved 2016 H1 petition and how would my new H1 application be treat, will there be any effect on the fresh application due to my old H1B approval petition.

    Please suggest.

  2. Thank you Redbus for such a good information.Mine got picked in April 11th , case approved on Aug and received hard copy in Sep.

    All the best for every one!

  3. Hi,

    Can you please answer my query.

    I got picked from company A. After few days of waiting, My status changed to RFE. Now, I got an update form my company A, they are unable to answer those RFE. Is their any possibility to transfer to Company B before Approval.

    If it possible, Can you please share those details

  4. Hi Admin,

    I have couple of questions could you kindly answer them.

    – How long will it take for USCIS to response for “Motion To Reconsideration” ?
    – If in case response is in favour of me then will they approve my case at the time of their response or do I need to wait further for my approval ?

  5. Hello Saurabh / Kumar,

    for people who are in L1, post October 1st if they get H1 approval, what should be their last working day on L1:
    1. The day USCIS website updates status (I assume here new I94 is generated by now)
    2. The day USCIS send out approval notice
    3. The day attorney received approval notice

    Any response would be helpful. Have a good day.

    • WaitingonApproval,

      You will be considered on H-1 from the actual approval date. Typically it is same as the date the online status changes to approved and the date mentioned in I-94.

  6. Hello All,

    I had applied from 2 employers and both the cases are in RFE 🙁 . Got this news last week. Are the chances of getting approved less. I am tensed about this as I have quit my job and waiting for the approval. Has anybody in your previous experiences heard multiple petitions from different employers moving to rfe and then approval? 🙁

  7. Hi Saurabh,
    Thanks for the information.
    I have joined the new employer, but to initiate they want some USCIS reference around this process, that H1 transfer before stamping is possible.
    Can you please provide USCIS reference showing that this is possible?

    • H1 Transfer before stamping,

      I don’t have legal reference to this. I suggested that based upon experience of others, who did H-1 transfer even before stamping or traveling to US even once.

  8. Manmohan Akkavaram (972-876-6485) runs a big Fraud company and has cheated people like me by promising H1B visas.
    He collects USD 4000 from me and now refuses to pick my call – Beware of Fraud companies by name EBS MINDS (http://www.ebsminds.com/) iEratech.
    No Visa no Stamping nothing . All my hard earned money gone down the drain. I have lodged a complaint with USICS and Department of labor on this fraud company so that thye can take action.
    Please nbe aware of this , so nobody else pays any money to Manmohan Akkavaram and his family business for H1B visa. They are big cheaters in the IT industry in USA.
    I am stuck in India and I can give you more detaisl – +91 709 319 8849

  9. Hi Saurabh,
    Regarding H1B transfer before stamping, i have got I797 approval notice copy, and have joined a new company in India, if i initiate transfer to the new company, what are the chances for H1 Transfer? Is there risk of getting the transfer approved assuming my old employer doesn’t withdraw it? Also in case it gets rejected, will my H1B petition be lost forever or There would be some chance to get it back through some other method?

    • H1 Transfer,

      It is not possible to tell the chances of approval as each case is different. If transfer is denied, then it doesn’t impact the original approval and it still remains in place.

      • Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for the information.
        I have joined the new employer, but to initiate they want some USCIS reference around this process, that H1 transfer before stamping is possible.
        Can you please provide USCIS reference showing that this is possible?

  10. My case was in regular processing and it went to RFE before upgrading it to premium.
    1. Is there any risk in upgrading the case to PP when responding to RFE?
    2. How long does RFE take after a response is sent to USCIS?
    3. Has anyone gotten an approval after RFE this year, under regular processing?

  11. Hi Sourabh,
    I got a 221G(white slip nothing checked) in Apr 2016, after waiting for couple of months, i got it changed to a better employer and the petition got approved too. I am planning to re-appear for an interview in Oct. Any precautions that i need to take care of ?


    • GK,

      As it is a different employer/petition, you should be fine. However any stamping can run into issues but your previous rejection should not impact. Answer truthfully on DS form about previous denial and its reason.

      • Hi Sourabh,

        One last question before i go for the interview. I was given In-House project by my employer, any precautions or possible questions that i may expect here.

        Thank you for the help !!


        • GK,

          At times, in-house projects are shams and consulate officer are extra careful when reviewing them. So you may be asked about documents related to it and how your company plans to market the product etc. In other words, they may want to know how you would be making money for the company while working in an internal project.

  12. Hi guys, I heard from my company immigration team that there are no H1Visa interview slots available this year in hyderabad. Is that true? Did anyone scheduled recently in hyderabad?


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